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In the Name of God بسم الله

Can one be Shia (besides Zaydi) d not believe imams are infallible/perfect

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  • Advanced Member

Salam, I don't think so. Because 'Shia' means follower, and one can't be a follower of an Imam whom they don't believe in 100%. 

It'd be like saying 'Can one be a Muslim and not believe that hajj is obligatory?' They can be a Muslim in other situations, but they're not really a Muslim if they don't believe everything that Allah says. 

Similarly, if one doesn't believe Allah when he says "Allah only desires to keep away all impurities from you, O Ahlulbayt, and to purify you with a thorough purifying," [33:33] they're not really a Shia. 

That's what I think, but I can't be too sure. Jazakallah khair.


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22 hours ago, ZiadalZanj said:

I heard Tusi believed something similar, could anyone explain if they know?

Salam it's a controversial  idea which some scholars have idea imperfection in some actions but on the other hand all of shia scholars  likewise Sheikh Tusi (رضي الله عنه) believe  to infallibility  of Imams withowithout  any doubt but on the other hand  some of them  consider imperfection as a separate  attribute  from infallibility which only Allah is perfect then so other creatures even infallibles have some imperfection  in comparison  to Allah.


Sahw al-Nabī (Arabic: سَهْو النبي) or oversights of the Prophet is a debate over the possibility of inadvertent mistakes and forgetfulness by the Prophet (s) as well as other Infallibles. This is an issue in theology. The majority of Shiite scholars reject such a possibility, although some of them, such as al-Shaykh al-Saduq and his teacher, Ibn Walid, believe in the possibility of oversights of the Prophet (s). That is, while they acknowledge that the Prophet (s) is infallible with respect to sins and his duties as a prophet, he might make inadvertent mistakes or exhibit forgetfulness in other aspects of his life.



Proponents of the possibility of "sahw al-Nabi" have appealed to hadiths implying that the Prophet (s) made inadvertent mistakes when saying his prayers. However, opponents believe that inadvertent mistakes or oversights are not compatible with the position of prophethood and dismiss those hadiths as unreliable.

al-Shaykh al-Saduq defends the possibility of oversights of the Prophet (s), taking its opponents to be ghulat (those who exaggerate about the Infallibles) and people of tafwid.


Different Views

Imami Shiite scholars hold different views about Sahw al-Nabi. The majority of Shiite scholars believe that it is impossible for prophets to make inadvertent mistakes.[6] However, some of them believe that it is possible for the Prophet (s) to make mistakes or be forgetful when acting upon Sharia rulings.[7]


Proponents of the possibility of Sahw al-Nabi include Ibn Walid al-Qummi, al-Shaykh al-Saduq, al-Sayyid al-Murtada,[8] Fadl b. al-Hasan al-Tabrisi the author of Majma' al-bayan, and Muhammad Taqi Shushtari.[9] In his Man la yahduruh al-faqih, al-Shaykh al-Saduq defends the possibility of oversights of the Prophet (s), taking its opponents to be ghulat (those who exaggerate about the Infallibles) and people of tafwid. In his view, the Prophet (s) is infallible as long as he propagates the religion. However, he is like ordinary people in other affairs such as performing his prayers, and might make inadvertent mistakes.[10]

In that book, al-Saduq says that he was going to write an independent book in which he would make a case for the possibility of oversights of the Prophet (s) and argue against its opponents.[11] He quotes his teacher, Ibn Walid, as saying that the denial of Sahw al-Nabi is the first step towards ghuluww (exaggeration about infallibles).[12]



Reasons and Evidence of Proponents

Proponents of the possibility of oversights of the Prophet (s) have appealed to the Qur'an and hadiths. In his interpretation of the verse 68 of Qur'an 6, al-Tabrisi says, "according to the Shi'as, the Prophet (s) and Imams (a) do not make mistakes about what is revealed by God. However, it is possible for them to make mistakes with regard to other affairs. Of course, this is possible as long as it does not amount to any malfunctions in their intellects."[13]




According to Ja'far Subhani, the majority of Shiite scholars reject the possibility of Sahw al-Nabi.[19] He cites some early Shiite scholars such as al-Shaykh al-Mufid, al-Allama al-Hilli, al-Muhaqqiq al-Hilli, and al-Shahid al-Awwal as opponents of the possibility of oversights of the Prophet (s).[20] He claims that the belief in Sahw al-Nabi is generally rejected by Shi'as.[21]

Reasons and Evidence of Opponents

According to al-Shaykh al-Mufid, hadiths appealed to in favor of the possibility of oversights of the Prophet (s) count as al-Khabar al-Wahid, and are not, therefore, reliable for the establishment of religious beliefs.[24] He has also objected to the reliability of these hadiths on the ground that their texts are radically different.[25]


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I don't think Tusi ever believed as such. If they wouldn't be infallible, it means that they did mistake somewhere in their words or actions. Since we take religion from their words and actions, it might have been accompanied with mistake. This is SO WRONG. They have to be infallible and that's what we read through all prophet traditions and words. Quran Ayah Vilayat says that they are infallible.

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Guest Psychological Warfare

The God ( Allah (عزّ وجلّ) ) is the Creator and Everyone else is the Created. So, if this is the basic understanding, The Perfection, Knowledge etc..Of the Creator can never ever be compared with the created. It is not common sense. 

The Status, Perfection, Knowledge of everything etc of the Created who are our Guardians, as per the Holy Qur'an can't be compared with anyone living at that time or till the end. So, the representatives appointed by Allah(عزّ وجلّ) are infallible compared to us. They are the perfection of Knowledge, and in all aspects , we are to follow their directives. (Period). End of discussion about infallibility for me. 



I am leaving among you the Two Weighty Things: the Book of Allah and my `Itrat (Progeny), my Ahlul Bayt. So long as you (simultaneously) uphold both of them, you will never be misled after me; so, do not go ahead of them else you should perish, and do not lag behind them else you should perish; do not teach them, for they are more knowledgeable than you.1



Abu Sa'id al-Khudari reports that one day we were sitting waiting for the Prophet Muhammad ((صلى الله عليه وآله وسلم).) to come out. He came to us while we saw that the strap of his shoe was broken; he gave it to 'Ali to repair. Then he said,

"One of you will wage war for the interpretation (ta'wil) of the Qur'an just as I waged war for its revelation (tanzil)."

Abu Bakr said, "Am I the one?" The Prophet said, "No." Then 'Umar said, "Am I the one?" The Prophet said, "No, but the one who is repairing the shoe."15


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